Crosscurrents – Chapter 3
Hacker Gary McCracken reunites with his old retired computer teacher — The Oracle — to uncover government secrets while being pursued by young FBI Agent Lily Weeten.
Chapter 3 – Yesterdays
(Gary McCracken & Lennie Triskett are on the interstate towards Washington D.C.. Lennie, with his arms crossed, is sulking in the passenger seat..)
LENNIE: I don’t see why I couldn’t drive.
(Gary glances at his blind, aged computer hacking mentor and down at Solo, his Alaskan Malamute seeing-eye dog, panting on the floor..)
GARY: Well, there is one glaring reason..
LENNIE: I haven’t been to D.C. since my last hack.
GARY: (smiles) The Petruskov Files.
LENNIE: (nods) The names of every undercover CIA agent in the Soviet government.
GARY: In 1986, at the height of the Cold War. You could have sold that information to the Communists and lived comfortably in some European castle for the rest of your life.
LENNIE: That wasn’t the point, Gary. I was never going to sell those files. I just wanted to show those bastards at the CIA who fired me that I was better than them. Smarter than them.
GARY: I woulda gone for the castle.
(The hackers pull off at an exit into the city and pass a black Crown Vic with tinted windows as it pulls onto the interstate south toward Fauquier County..)
DICK: So you think McCracken is going to lead us directly to this “Oracle” guy.
LILY: I think McCracken is still in Northern Virginia, otherwise he would have raised some red flags. I believe a computer hacker with no friends on the run from the law would seek out his idol, his mentor, to help guide him on what to do next.
DICK: And you think this Oracle fella has been living in Northern Virginia for the past three decades.
LILY: Hiding right under the government’s nose would fit his profile.
DICK: You sound like you kinda admire this Oracle guy.
LILY: Maybe I do, Dick. Maybe I do.
DICK: Pull over at this truck stop. I gotta pee.
LILY: We just left.
(In the dusty basement of a D.C. library near the Pentagon, Gary’s face is bathed in the blue glow of the computer screen, eyes darting left to right..)
GARY: Look here: “Pentagon ____ _____.” That could be Project Solar Warden.
LENNIE: Or Project literally anything else.
GARY: I could really use some help here.
LENNIE: I told you, I’m retired. Did I ever tell you about the night Edith & I met? It was in a library a lot like this one. I was working for the CIA, she was working for the FBI. She was wearing this yellow–
RITZ: Excuse me, fellows.
(Gary & Lennie leap back from the computer as a short red-headed freckled young man enters the quiet library basement..)
RITZ: You’re…Gary McCracken, correct?
GARY: Who’s asking?
(Solo growls at the young man and Lennie pulls his leash..)
RITZ: Pardon me for startling you. My name’s Jim Ritz. I’m a tech blogger with the Washington Post. I’ve been poring over The Wow Documents you released. I’m a big fan of your work. I was wondering if I could interview you for a piece I’m working on.
GARY: How do I know you’re not a government operative?
LENNIE: He’s not. I’d be able to smell the stink on him.
RITZ: (hands Gary a card) Tomorrow afternoon. A cafe on D Street.
(Ritz walks back upstairs and Gary turns to Lennie excitedly..)
GARY: This could be my chance to tell the world about Project Solar Warden!
LENNIE: Eh, you might wanna lead with some of the more believable stuff.
(In the attic of Gary McCracken’s ex-girlfriend’s aunt’s house, FBI Agent Lily Weeten and her partner Dick Reilly are rooting through what remains of Gary’s possessions. Lily stares at an entire wall covered in newspaper clippings of UFO sightings and mysterious government programs..)
LILY: Dick, I don’t think McCracken was hacking for military information.
(Dick joins Lily at the clippings wall..)
DICK: Looks like our prime suspect was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
LILY: You know in the movies when the FBI agent says something really cool when he cracks the case?
DICK: I don’t go to the movies. Too expensive. Plus Hollywood’s run by the liberal gay mafia.
LILY: Just..get away from me.
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